The Evolution of Retro Ski Wear Fashion

The Evolution of Retro Ski Wear Fashion

Practicality might be the first thing to spring to mind when thinking of skiing, however snow slope style lies beyond just sports. Over the decades, ski wear fashion has evolved to the centre of winter runways, a statement for infamous celebrity vacations, emanating class and innovation. With the popularity of vintage not limiting itself to the street, Retro ski wear has recently been making a comeback. Find out more about the return of exciting vintage ski wear!

The History of Ski Wear Fashion

Having navigated through many cultures and decades, skiing gained most of its popularity as both a recreational activity and a sport around the mid 1800s and only continued to grow with the prosperity and wealth of the 1900s until today. From waxed canvas smocks in the 50s, to an establishment of iconic ski looks in the 70s, and a follow-up of bright colours, technical fabrics and innovative garments in the latter decades, ski wear fashion is a complex and evolving aspect of this mountainous activity. 

The almost costume like feel of ski wear originated from its wearers need for warmth and durability. In 1948, Willy Bogner’s initiation of his company at a Munich fashion show gave both him and his wife, Maria Lux, credit to major ski wear innovations, including the ground-breaking wool/nylon stretch pants. Bold colours that stood out against white, snowy background were attributed as newness in the ski world. Similarly, Emilio Pucci heightened the technological aspect of garments such as the ski jacket; stretchiness in his works acted as a major attraction for rich jetsetters.

Ski wear has created the perfect intersection between fashion and functionality, there’s no debate as to why it continues to fruitfully inspire contemporary designers.

Retro Ski Wear Styles Through the Years 

50s ski wear sees the iconic promotion of women’s swap from skirts to trousers. Man-made fibres saw the introduction of colour on the slopes to skiers' bright viscose knitwear

The 60s ski wear was all about a revolutionised sport – lycra and spandex meant lighter, tighter, brighter outfits. Ski goggles became the must have accessory.  

70s ski wear included warm fleeces, puffer jackets and moon boots that came to stay. Iconic celebrities such as Cher and Princess Diana made their infamous fashion statements on the slopes.  

Similarly, to every other aspect of fashion in the 80s, everything was about clashing colour and patterns. This has a particular impact when pictured against snowy mountains.  

Vintage Ski Wear Brands 

Patagonia finds itself as a current favourite in the sense of practicality for skiers. From its foundation in 1973, the brand prides itself on garment quality and performance, with an environmental focus which makes a double appearance in the form of vintage. 

The North Face and its superior qualitative mountain wear is also a vintage ski wear favourite. This established brand name never fails to make a comeback, repeating consumers are well aware of the durability of ski wear equipment.  

Moncler is considered one of the most stylish skiwear brands. With recent retro inspired collections, there’s no reason for preloved, exciting and colourful garments to not be a statement in any skier's closet.  

Not only did Ellesse start as a skiwear company, the brand stocks only high-quality gear. An iconic logo recognised due to infamous 80s campaigns will never fail to impress on the slope.   

Ski History in Sheffield

A site for Olympic dreams, the Sheffield Ski Village, opened in 1988 quickly became a home to professional skiers and freestyle skiing teams. On a continuous rise from the early 90s, the village included 8 slopes, a bar, lodge and shops. With an astounding 280,000 visitors a year and plans for refurbishments, aspiring projects suddenly took a turn for the worst with an unexpected accidental fire in 2012. Unfortunately, once a pride for Yorkshire, the local site still remains derelict, and a place for vandalism and arson attacks. Will the once believed largest ski resort in Europe be subject to reopening? We hope so.

Why Choose Vintage Ski Wear?

Discussed iconic ski wear brands continue to reinvent their products, taking inspiration from retro components in their newest designs. As an example, Moncler’s recent 70th anniversary collection uses bright greens, purples and oranges to remind of its quintessential mountain fashion. With fabrics currently aspiring for style over quality, and prices surging, an ethical purchase of preloved pieces appears a more considerable option towards the environment.  Not only do vintage pieces give your look a more authentic style, but long-lasting quality is guaranteed. 


Get The Retro Ski Wear Look

Our Après Ski Collection prides itself in authenticity and responsibility, reminding of those well-known celebrity looks and giving life to snowy slopes. Ski wear fashion history shows us that much thought was given into durability of these products, so why not find your 80s or early 00s statement piece and accessory?

Shop the collection now!